This man is awesome. No questions about that.
I really liked what I heard in Death Note. So after I had finished with the series, I checked out the soundtrack albums and discovered that Hideki Taniuchi was responsible for half of the soundtrack, arguably the half that is the real meat of the whole music of the series, ie this post-rock instrumental pieces coupled with many other pieces that helped carve out the dark world of Death Note.
So, since I had held Death Note as the pinnacle of anime music that far, I decided to check out another anime this guy composed for, Kaiji, SOLELY for the music. I'm watching Kaiji and while to my surprise, the series is awesome for many other reasons besides the music, the thing I definitely wasn't that surprised about was how much the music rocks! This time, Hideki Taniuchi is the one holding the helm and goes all-out. It's more melodic than Death Note, but it is very similar in a sense that the moment I heard 5 seconds of music as it played in an episode, I knew that it is Hideki Taniuchi.
He has done a few other things, notably Akagi (which I haven't checked out yet) and Aoi Bungaku (a wonderful journey of Japanese literary classics in anime form). Actually, I wasn't aware of him being responsible for the music on Aoi Bungaku until I watched two episodes of that and immediately got hooked on the music. There's no official release available, but after checking the credits I realized that it IS the same guy!
Is anyone else aware of this guy and if yes, does anyone have anything similar to recommend? Taku Iwasaki's music on "Persona -trinity soul-" is probably the closest I can think of.
A few songs for you to check out, he is truly great! And the "sad" tracks he has composed are probably one of the most powerful I've listened.